Police officer demands ransom from fishermen in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 May 2008, 15:02 GMT]
A Sri Lankan Chief Inspector of Police who is serving as Officer-In-Charge of the Police (OIC) of the police post in Peasaalai in the island of Mannaar, has been demanding ransom from the fishermen of Peasaalai during the recent days, according to religious leaders in Mannaar. The OIC has gone door-to-door in certain areas of the village, demanding ransom ranging from SLR 20,000 to 500,000. The police officer has accused the fishermen of transporting 'banned goods' to LTTE controlled areas from Mannaar and warned them that they would be spared from charges of 'assisting terrorism,' only if they heeded to his ransom demand on time.

The police officer with a higher police rank than his superior is serving in Peasaalai after being allegedly demoted from a Sri Lankan Police station in the South.

The OIC, with the police rank of Chief Inspector of Police (3-stars), is serving under a Inspector of Police (2-stars), who is the Head Quarters Inspector (HQI) of Thalaimannar.

Accusing that the fishermen were engaged in transporting 'banned goods' to LTTE controlled areas, the officer was demanding ransom from wealthy fishermen as well as from those who were dependent on marginal income.

Tension prevails among the fishermen who have turned to religious leaders to take up their plight with higher authorities in Colombo.


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